WHAT THE HECK is going on with Frei Chevrolet and Fox Motors?
That’s been the question on the minds of TV viewers ever since last weekend when we first started seeing those intriguing commercials in which the two auto competitors were seen playing tricks on each other. First, secretly switching nameplates on vehicles, then hacking into each other’s websites.
So a merger or a buyout must be in the offing, right?
No, says Frei owner Jim Grundstrom with a gleam in his eye, the two dealers are “just having some fun.” They’re “toying with the marketplace.” All right, but generally two well-established and competing auto dealers don’t spend big money on a unique ad campaign just to have some fun.
Will he say unequivocally that at the end of this we will not see a merger or buyout? “That is not the intent,” responds Grundstrom.
More mysterious commercials are to come. Patience may be required.
If the idea of an ad campaign is to get people talking about you, these guys have hit it out of the park.
A MINI EXODUS from the Masonic Square building downtown.
Wolfgang’s Haus of Glas is closing up shop this week after a 14 year run in Marquette. Family illness, the main reason.
It’s a shame. It’s the kind of shop that downtowns want and need, selling authentic crafts that we can all be proud of, instead of the cutesy, mass-produced, tourist-friendly stuff.
And just across the way from the glass shop in the basement of the building, Ron’s Taco Shop has up and left after a short stay.
The owner said the location just wasn’t working out. Problems with electricity and plumbing. They’re now looking for a new location.
The Masonic Square building is a bit of a mystery. It’s perfectly located in the heart of downtown, with the potential to be a cute, little mini-mall of retail shops and restaurants that cater to tourists and locals. And yet it’s become an ever-changing mish-mash of shops, offices, and empty spaces. Not particularly attractive.
Maybe the market’s just not right, at least not yet.
ROLLIN’ SMOKE BARBEQUE is rollin’….away from its Wright Street location.
It’ll be closing down in a couple of weeks as it begins its busy summer season on the road throughout the UP at various events including the State Fair and Art on the Rocks.
Owners Tom and Vanessa Curry don’t expect to return to Wright Street. It’s too out-of-the-way.
What they would love to do is return to Marquette as a food truck. If the city’s new food truck ordinance allows them to locate in public areas, that’s exactly where we’ll see Rollin’ Smoke in the future.
If not, Tom says they’re always on the lookout for a reasonably priced bricks-and-mortar location.
A city needs a barbeque joint, doesn’t it?
THE MT. SHASTA restaurant in Michigamme is struggling to stay afloat.
It’s now started a GoFundMe site to raise money. The goal is $59,000. So far, $910 has been raised. GoFundMe is an internet site that allows businesses to attract cash from supporters and customers.
Mt. Shasta’s had a rough few years–intermittently contaminated water flowing through its pipes, declining business, and a recent closure. Owner Nancy Ferro believes road construction on US 41 caused the contamination, but state and county officials disagree: they say Mt. Shasta had problems before the construction, and the state bears no responsibility. It’s Ferro’s problem.
Installing a water filtration system would cost about 50 grand. Hence, the GoFundMe campaign.
We’ll see how far that gets. In the meantime, we’ll see whether Ferro opens up with shipped-in water for the relatively busy summer season.
IF YOU’RE A fan of “The Voice,” you know that Joshua Davis is now one of the 12 finalists.
He’s got some local roots, appears here regularly. He’s currently a solo act but he was also well known as a principal performer in the popular group Steppin’ In It.
What’s fascinating is that Davis is a singer-songwriter, folk-rock artist–anything but a wannabe pop star–and yet his smooth, mellow, understated performances have apparently won over the younger set. They’re the ones who vote on shows like this and they’re buying his songs on iTunes.
Who woulda thought?
Plus, Davis seems like a great guy devoted to his wife and children, and he’s got a social conscience.
Sure seems like the U.P. has a rooting interest in the “The Voice.” Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays at 8 pm. (This promo brought to you by NBC and TV6.)
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